A few nuggets/thoughts on linebacker Jamie Collins from Southern Mississippi, the Patriots' first pick in the draft.
5. JAMIE COLLINS, Southern Mississippi (6-3½, 250, 4.62, 2) -- Prep QB moved to safety and finally to LB-DE in 2010. "He has major athletic ability," said one scout of Collins' LB-leading vertical jump (41½) and broad jump (11-7). "Tested off the charts. He played walkaway outside backer and as a defensive end. He can be a 'will' in a 4-3, a 'will' in a 3-4 or a 3-4 rush backer. But he's not very smart (Wonderlic of 17)." Played far better as a junior than for a winless team in '12. "He dogged it this year," another scout said. "He hated the staff, and probably was right in doing so. Need to watch junior tape. He's very athletic but not physical. Hit or miss, feast or famine." Started 34 of 51 games, finishing with 314 tackles (46 for loss), 16 sacks and 15 "big" plays (eight forced fumbles). Had three defensive TDs. "I don't think he's a bad kid," a third scout said. "But sometimes it's like talking to a brick wall. It's not that he lacks toughness. Sometimes he just disappears." From McCall Creek, Miss. "They were an awful team, and he wasn't the solution," said a fourth scout. "He was the problem. Low motor. Has tremendous upside. I don't normally bet on guys like that, but people do. He'll be gone in the first three rounds."
- Two scouts I heard from after the draft also mentioned Collins "dogging it" last season on an 0-12 team. Both talked about Collins being "extremely gifted" and added that his play was "uneven." One said, "He dogs it too much for me."
- I'm sure the Patriots did their homework and feel that what Collins put on the field in '12 was more a product of his environment than his character.
- OurLads Scouting service had Collins in the third round; Pro Football Weekly had him as fourth/fifth round; Mel Kiper had him second/third round range.
- Sure seems that he has a ton of raw tools that can be used in a variety of ways. He'll definitely impact special teams -- something the Patriots were looking for -- and likely pass coverage. Can also come off the edge and rush the passer in sub packages.
- Sure seems that Collins gives the Patriots some coverage at both linebacker and end Brandon Spikes and Rob Ninkovich head into contract years.